Sunday, September 11, 2011

Frozen Herbs

Featured Ingredient: Frozen Herbs

















Yesterday at the farmers’ market, I bought enough sage to last me dozens of dishes and it only cost me 2 bucks. For the same price at the grocery story, I can get just enough for a couple uses and it often looks less than inspiring. At this time of year you can really load up on fresh herbs like basil, cilantro, mint and sage for crazy low prices. But the problem is that they don’t last very long, even if the roots are placed in a jar with water. To the rescue is the mini muffin pan.

To preserve delicate herbs such as the aforementioned, I first wash them free of any grit, chop them up finely, stuff them into mini muffin cups and top with water.


















All you do then is slide the tray into the freezer, wait until frozen, pop out the herb cups and freeze in a zip-top bag. Granted, these herbs won’t be good for garnishing. But you can toss them straight from the freezer into pasta sauces, soups, chili and other dishes that require simmering.

This is one of those cases where I love the silicon muffin cups. Their flexibility makes it really easy to unmold frozen items. If your herb cups get stuck, try placing the bottom of the tray in warm water momentarily. Be careful that you don’t go too long and melt the contents.

Anyone else out there have good experiences with freezing and using fresh herbs

13 comments:

  1. Interesting way to save herbs. I'm always throwing them out, so this sounds like a brilliant idea :)

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  2. Yes i do the same with a lot of things! Like red peppers, they are so expensive all year and in summer here they are sooooooooooooooooo cheap so i buy a lot of Kg and freeze them (chopped in bags), then i have peppers for all year long!

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  3. I usually use ice cube trays instead of mini muffin tins, but I do this all the time! :)

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  4. thats such a useful technique. i would always wonder how to preserve the herbs... thanks matthew for sharing this.

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  5. Very nice idea for fresh herbs! Thank you!

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  6. Great idea for the peppers Noelia. I guess you could not use them in salads once frozen as the texture would be off?

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  7. What a cute great idea! I'm so stealing this technique :)

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  8. i do this too, only i put my herbs in the food processor and make it into a paste first. Also, that way if you dont have a mini-muffin tin, you can just put it in saran wrap and aluminum foil and make them into bricks.

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  9. I've done this before too in ice cube trays, and was quite pleased when I thought I had run out of an herb & remembered it was in the freezer. Thanks for reminding me to do it again.

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  10. Wow. I had no idea you could freeze herbs! I guess I just never thought of it before. I am totally stocking up at the farmers markets this week! Thanks for the tips!

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  11. I had no clue you could do this. I hate wasting the leftover herbs. What a fab idea!

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  12. oh lala! so frugal!

    Amanda
    softandstiffpeaks.blogspot.com

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  13. Most of the time I just put the herbs in a zipper freezer bag. When I need a bit I take out what I need (without thawing first) and add it directly to the recipe. Most herbs can be crumbled right into the dish since they are still frozen. I have used frozen herbs in Tabbouleh, pesto, and other recipes where you would think only fresh would work.

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